by Mike Shea on 19 April 2007
When I first bought my Xbox 360, it took me over an hour from the time I opened the box to the time I had my first game loaded. When I recently bought my latest PC, it took me over four hours to get my first game up and running after a fresh install of Windows XP, all the patches, all the drivers, and all the other setup. When I bought my first Nintendo DS, I was playing it in my car in the parking lot of Best Buy less than five minutes after purchase.
While a lot of the gaming press and hard core gamers pontificate about the war between the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3, and the Nintendo Wii, the rest of us are playing the Nintendo DS. Over 35 million Nintendo DS systems have sold since 2004.
The Nintendo DS is the best game system currently available for three simple reasons:
It's cheap. You can buy one for $130 now.
It's easy. There's no set up, no TV hookup, no audio setup, no complicated control scheme.
It's fun. Meteos, The New Super Mario Brothers, Elite Beat Agents, Brain Age, Puzzle Quest, and Final Fantasy 3 are all excellent fun games.
While hard core gamers spend hours talking about the finer details of Gears of War, a game that revolutionizes home entertainment by letting you hide behind crates, the rest of us played the New Super Mario Brothers. While far from revolutionary, The New Super Mario Brothers is just plain fun. It looks great, sounds great, is easy to play, and costs about thirty bucks. You can play it on a bus or in your inlaws' living room.
While Sony and Microsoft build platforms and games for the same select set of hard core gamers who have played first person shooters since Wolfenstein 3d, Nintendo remembers that gaming is about fun and ease of use is more important than HD graphics. The market appears big enough to support all of the current gaming systems but the ones that will sell are the ones that are easy and fun to play.
I love my Xbox 360 and I will love my Wii again when they have a game worth playing besides Zelda and bowling. If I had to have only one game system, though, it would be my Nintendo DS. It's the best video game entertainment per dollar one can buy.
Mike's Next Generation Gaming Recommendation: